Sunday Gospel reflections: Don’t dismiss God’s presence!

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

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If you were looking for a successful prophet, you might be quite impressed by Elijah’s record: when he says there will be a drought, there is one; when he calls down fire from heaven, it comes. Yet, the fidelity to the covenant Elijah sought to restore in Israel, among its people and leaders, remained elusive. Weary of the burden of his ministry and numbed by the threats to his life, Elijah flees to the wilderness, about as far away from Israel as he can get. Seemingly, he has lost his appetite for doing the Lord’s work.

Perhaps we have known — or been like — “the poor one” in today’s psalm who could sometimes call on the Lord and, at other times, not even manage that. When we have no appetite, a little “taste” of the Lord might be all we can muster.

It is important not to dismiss God’s presence among us, no matter how tempting it may be in trying times to ask “Where is God?” or see God’s presence as somehow complicit in our suffering. When we see in Jesus who God truly is for us, we can believe again and be thankful that God has never stopped loving us and continues to provide ample nourishment, to strengthen and encourage us, in the eucharistic feast we celebrate today.

— Christine Mader


1 Kings 19:4–8

Psalm 34:2–3, 4–5, 6–7, 8–9

Ephesians 4:30—5:2

John 6:41–51

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